Essential Steps to Marketing Success
As we stand at the threshold of a new year, marketers everywhere are gearing up to navigate the dynamic landscape of fresh opportunities and challenges. The canvas is blank, waiting to be filled with innovative campaigns, ambitious goals, and heightened expectations.
For many marketers, the vast expanse of possibilities can be as overwhelming as it is exhilarating. Planning for the upcoming year can instill feelings of confusion, uncertainty, and apprehension, driven by a sincere desire to learn from past mistakes and establish improved processes.
If you find yourself at a loss on where to begin, this guide is for you!
We understand the journey of planning for the upcoming year can be daunting, which is why we're here to offer a foundational roadmap. Discover essential steps for defining primary goals, outlining impactful campaigns, and fostering effective communication for success.
After, be sure to download our complete guide, filled with examples, exercises, and Tenon tips to lift your marketing plans off the ground.
It’s Goal Time
The effectiveness of any marketing campaign hinges on its alignment with overarching company goals. It's not just about crafting eye-catching content; it's about ensuring every effort contributes meaningfully to the broader objectives of your organization.
To achieve this alignment, start by clearly understanding the overarching business objectives. If you’re unsure of what they are, it’s time for a bit of research. Involve key stakeholders from leadership and other departments to ensure that the marketing goals you set are in harmony with overall company strategies.
By fostering integration and collaboration, your marketing goals can become a powerful driving force in achieving both marketing success and broader company objectives.
To get you started, below are some hypothetical company initiatives to inspire marketing goals:
1. Enhance Brand Awareness
2. Improve Customer Retention
3. Expand Market Reach to New Demographics
Armed with these OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) you’ll be better equipped to translate these high-level goals into specific marketing efforts.
To keep things simple, we’ve outlined a few sets of quantifiable goals to help you draft your own marketing goals.
- Enhance Brand Awareness
- Increase social media followers by 20% over the next two quarters through targeted content and engagement strategies.
- Boost website traffic from organic search by 10% over the next two quarters through search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
- Secure media coverage in at least three industry-leading publications within the next 4 quarters to expand brand visibility.
2: Improve Customer Retention
- Launch a customer loyalty program and increase repeat purchase rates by 10% within the next two quarters
- Implement personalized email campaigns to reduce churn rates by 15% over the next 4 quarters.
- Establish a customer feedback system to gather insights and address concerns, aiming for a 20% increase in customer satisfaction scores by the end of the year.
3: Expand Market Reach to New Demographics
- Target a new demographic segment, resulting in a 15% increase in leads from that segment within the next two quarters.
- Launch a targeted social media advertising campaign to reach a younger audience, aiming for a 25% increase in engagement among the 18-24 age group YoY.
- Collaborate with influencers or ambassadors representing the new demographic to enhance brand visibility, leading to a 15% growth in brand mentions and discussions within the target demographic over the next 4 quarters.
As you go through this exercise, keep in mind the number of goals a marketing department should set for one year can vary depending on the size of the organization, the complexity of its marketing strategy, and the specific objectives it aims to achieve.
A common approach is to set a strategic few, typically between three to five high-priority goals that align with overall business objectives. This allows marketing teams to concentrate their efforts and resources on the most impactful initiatives. Each goal can then be supported by specific key performance indicators (KPIs) or key results to measure progress and success.
Setting too many goals can lead to a lack of focus, resource dilution, and reduced effectiveness. Conversely, having too few goals may limit the scope of your marketing efforts. Striking the right balance is crucial for creating a robust and achievable marketing plan.
The Path to Campaign Confetti
Well done. You’ve set the stage for success with clearly defined marketing goals – now it’s time to create a campaign plan to support them. Keep in mind, this is just an initial guide based on what works well for the Tenon team – feel free to modify as you see fit.
To start, we’d suggest outlining a campaign timeline based on your goals. Will these campaigns run for one quarter, two, the whole year, or a mix? Document using a tool that allows for shared visibility and collaboration to keep your team aligned from start to finish.
Next, determine the target audience for your campaigns. Note: If you don’t already have them identified or are exploring a new demographic, now would be a great time to develop detailed profiles. Be sure to identify their needs, pain points, and preferences. This will help when you tackle your campaign messaging and determine future marketing medium and tactics.
Now that you’ve determined who you will be targeting, it’s good to define the key campaign messages and unique selling propositions for each campaign. No need to come up with fully defined messaging at this point – feel free to put in placeholders for now. Refining the messaging and creative will be covered when we get to project planning (don't worry, we're getting there!).
Next, determine the marketing channels you’ll use to promote each campaign based on your target audience (e.g., social media, email, content marketing).
Finally, consider putting in rough costs for advertising, content creation, and promotions. This will help to determine overall marketing spend for the year and make sure it aligns with your marketing budget.
Project Plans for the Win
Campaign plan, check! You’re one step closer to creating an actionable marketing plan. Now, onto project planning. Without outlining well-defined steps, the execution of your campaigns might swiftly descend into disorder.
Whether employing a marketing work management solution or relying on spreadsheets, it's essential to document project owners, approvals (if necessary), deadlines, and task updates to maintain clarity and cohesion.
Make certain that your campaign’s individual project plans are readily accessible and clearly defined. This allows all stakeholders to view, collaborate, and anticipate roadblocks before they derail progress.
From Kanban to calendars, tools for collaboration are key in grasping the status of projects at a glance, identifying potential roadblocks, and steering your campaigns to the finish line.
In addition to collaboration, documenting project plans is crucial for continued improvement as it provides a repeatable template of the project's journey, offering insights that contribute to refining and reviewing processes after completion.
Here are a few key reasons why this documentation is essential:
Continuous Improvement: The ability to refine and review project plans post-completion facilitates a culture of continuous improvement. Teams can assess their performance against initial objectives, identify areas for enhancement, and implement changes for increased efficiency and effectiveness in subsequent projects.
Knowledge Transfer: Documented project plans serve as a valuable knowledge transfer tool. As team members change or new members join, they can refer to past project documentation to understand methodologies, strategies, and key learnings, ensuring a seamless transition and leveraging institutional knowledge.
Benchmarking: Comparing the documented project outcomes with initial goals and industry benchmarks allows organizations to gauge their performance. This benchmarking process aids in setting realistic goals for future projects and maintaining competitiveness in the market.
Client Satisfaction: If the project involves external stakeholders or clients, documentation is essential for tracking client satisfaction. Understanding what aspects of the project met or exceeded expectations and where improvements are needed enables organizations to build stronger client relationships in the long term.
Risk Mitigation: Documenting project plans includes capturing details about potential risks and how they were managed. This information becomes a valuable resource for anticipating and mitigating risks in future projects, contributing to more effective risk management strategies.
As you can see, documenting project plans is not just a procedural task, it is a strategic investment in the ongoing success and improvement. By learning from past experiences, marketing teams can optimize their processes, enhance their capabilities, and ensure that each subsequent project is more successful than the last.
New Year, New You.
There you have it! From setting high-level company initiatives to translating them into actionable marketing goals, creating a solid plan is the foundation that sets your team up for success.
Remember, communication is the glue that holds it all together: make your plans accessible, clearly outlined, and foster collaboration among your team.
Here's to a year of strategic planning, seamless execution, and unparalleled success in your marketing endeavors!
And if you could use some additional guidance, reach out to us. We’d love to help you build a lasting foundation that elevates your marketing work and aligns your team.
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